The Seahawks had Sunday off, so there’s not a lot of fresh stuff right now. This is game week, as they open the preseason on Thursday at Denver against the Broncos. The Seahawks traditionally don’t game-plan for preseason games, focusing instead on how they use their manpower, and in what ways can they get film on them in various situations. However, if they rummage around in the headquarters a little bit, they might be able to find a decent game plan for Denver just sitting around.
Injury status will be of interest today, as rookies Paul Richardson (shoulder) and Cassius Marsh (groin) are expected to return to action after brief absences. Interesting, too, will be the status of right tackle rookie Justin Britt, who injured his left shoulder in Saturday’s mock game, leaving Eric Winston to handle that position with the first group. Pete Carroll, on Saturday, did not consider it a major injury. Although, it seems as if they first considered Michael Bowie’s shoulder injury a “tweak” at first, and it was revealed Saturday that he needs surgery and six months of rehab. He was waived-injured and picked up by the Browns.
Safety Dion Bailey also went down with an ankle injury in the scrimmage. Initial X-rays were negative, Carroll said, but it still could be a time-loss injury. Safety seemed a thin position already, particularly with Kam Chancellor coming back from hip surgery. But Chancellor is expected to return to action this week. Terrance Parks, who has been listed as a cornerback, has been getting time at safety and looks the part. Also, DeShawn Shead has been very active at the position.
Injury issues had most of the draft class on the sidelines, but seventh-round fullback Kiero Small could be seen laying some good blocks, particularly on a nice gain by Spencer Ware.
The Hawks reportedly signed former Cardinal tackle Cory Brandon for depth up front. I thought it was interesting to see backup center Lemuel Jeanpierre getting a lot of time with the second unit at both guard spots. He’s been so valuable as Max Unger’s backup, but he’s also performed so well when he’s started that he might be earning looks at other places.
--I had fun with my column for this morning’s TNT, chatting with Brandon Mebane and Max Unger about the work they put in during the week, particularly when they go against each other in one-on-one pass drills. I think these are the best part of practices, and I’ve watched these two go against each other hundreds of times since they’ve been in the league.
The design of these drills favors defenders, as they have more range of movement without the clutter of other players that helps serve as a barrier. Mebane has been a nightmare for one-on-one blockers since the first day he arrived. At 6-1, with a low center of gravity, he has a natural leverage advantage on just about every center, including the 6-5 Unger. He’s also wickedly quick.
The two have great respect for the other, saying that these drills tend to be a bigger challenge than most game situations. Mebane claims that Unger is getting more crafty with age. Sometimes just a placement of a hand can be enough change the dynamics, in which case, Mebane says, he is forced to develop a counter move, thus improving his game.
What is very clear is how dedicated both these guys are to getting better, and what a strong mutual respect they have. Their battles, over the years, are the kind of things fans don’t usually get to see, but are a real part of how teams get better.
--ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold has a Denver perspective about Thursday’s opener – and Super Bowl rematch.